China’s foreign ministry in Hong Kong has criticized a report by Britain on the financial hub, stating that it disregards the positive societal conditions and stable business environment in Hong Kong, instead supporting “anti-China” chaos. The report, covering the period from January 1 to June 30, claimed that the application of Beijing’s national security law in Hong Kong extends beyond genuine national security concerns. The law was imposed in 2020 following protests in the city. While Western governments have criticized the law for limiting social and political freedoms, Chinese and Hong Kong officials argue that it is necessary for restoring stability. China’s foreign ministry asserts that Hong Kong has successfully implemented the principle of “one country, two systems” since its return to China in 1997. The ministry questions the credibility of the UK’s criticism of Hong Kong’s democracy and human rights situation, citing increasing poverty rates and record-high crime rates in the UK. The ministry declares that attempts to disrupt Hong Kong are destined to fail.
The British report highlights ongoing efforts by authorities to suppress the protest anthem “Glory to Hong Kong” and the delayed national security trial of media tycoon Jimmy Lai. The UK reaffirms its commitment to defending universal human rights, including freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly, and pledges to support those who are targeted. The UK describes Lai’s prosecution as highly politicized and continues to advocate for consular access. The report also mentions that Hong Kong police have issued arrest warrants and bounties against individuals in the UK and elsewhere, and the UK emphasizes that it will not tolerate attempts to intimidate or silence people within its borders. The report acknowledges that Hong Kong’s legal and judicial systems are facing a critical juncture, as they must adjudicate on an opaque national security law that prioritizes the authority of the Chief Executive over their own.
In conclusion, the article highlights the differing perspectives between China and Britain regarding the situation in Hong Kong. China’s foreign ministry defends the implementation of the national security law and criticizes the UK’s report for overlooking positive aspects of Hong Kong’s society and business environment. On the other hand, the UK report raises concerns about the suppression of freedoms and politicized prosecutions in Hong Kong. The article underscores the ongoing tensions and debates surrounding Hong Kong’s autonomy and human rights.
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